Suspect indicted by Grand Jury, accused of killing neighbor before setting fire to home

Baltazar Castañeda is accused of killing his 58-year-old neighbor Richard Amesquita and setting fire to his west side home in February.

SAN ANTONIO — A man accused of beating his neighbor to death and setting fire to his home in February has been indicted on charges of murder and arson of a habitation, first-degree felonies punishable by five to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

On the evening of February 26, Baltazar Castañeda is accused of beating his 58-year-old neighbor, Richard Amesquita, to death – dragging him back into his west side home and setting it on fire.

According to a statement from the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney, each indictment also alleges that Castañeda is a habitual offender due to two prior felony convictions. If true, the punishment for each charge is increased to 25 to 99 years in prison.

The case will be assigned to the District Attorney’s Felony Criminal Trial division for prosecution.

“Richard Amesquita deserved to be safe in his own home – and the Grand Jury has now tasked us with ensuring that justice prevails in this case,” said Bexar County Criminal District Attorney Joe D. Gonzales.

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